In the Bible, there are 365 times where the Lord says, “Be strong and courageous . . . Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you.” He knew how much we would struggle with fear and discouragement, and so He gave us this promise 365 times, one promise for every day of the year. The Israelites were certainly struggling with fear at this time in their journey. Moses, their leader for 40 years, had just been informed by God that after 120 years, his time was up and that he would not be journeying with the Israelites across the Jordan River into the land of Canaan.
Question – “How would you have felt and responded if you been in this position – losing the only leader you had known in 40 years?” Moses was the one who came and spoke up for the Israelites when they were in bondage and slavery in Egypt. He was the one who had the courage to confront the Egypt’s Pharaoh, the greatest ruler of that day. God used Moses to perform miracles and bring plagues against the Egyptians, which led to the Israelites being granted their freedom. He was the one who encouraged the Israelites to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” when they were backed against the Red Sea, and the one who had the faith to lead them across the Red Sea on dry ground. Moses had prayed and interceded for the Israelites many times, so that they could receive bread from heaven, victory over their enemies, and to be forgiven even after they had turned from the Lord and worshipped false gods. He was the primary one who heard from God for them. Now, after 40 years of leading the Israelites to hear from and follow the Lord, Moses was soon to leave them, to be buried by God on a remote mountain-top, while the Israelites progressed on into the Promised Land.
Although Moses was no longer going to be their leader, the Lord had not abandoned the Israelites. God had given Moses instructions to prepare Joshua to take over and lead the Israelites. Moses told them, “Joshua is your new leader, and he will go with you, just as the Lord promised” (Deuteronomy 31:3b). More importantly, however, the Lord had promised, “The Lord your God Himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy the nations living there, and you will take possession of their land” Deuteronomy 31:3a).
Second Question – “How does the Lord’s promise of His presence help you to overcome fear and discouragement, even when you’re in the midst of times of transition?” He promises over and over that “He will never leave us nor forsake us,” (Hebrews 13:5), and that He will “be with us until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). In other words, ascertaining and appreciating the Lord’s presence in our lives is what enables us to overcome fear, uncertainty and discouragement, and press on to experience great victories for God in our lives.
Third Question – “How well are you aware of the Lord’s daily presence in your life – and what enables you to experience and revel in His presence in the greatest of ways?”
As you pray today: 1) Pray that you will experience in a fresh new way God’s presence in your life; 2) Pray that you will be able to overcome fear, uncertainty and discouragement, and 3) Pray that the Lord will provide you with the leaders you need to help you continue moving forward with the Lord.